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Nappies are incredibly expensive and it is worrying to think how many end up in landfill. I wish I could say that I only use reusable nappies; however, it just isn't practical to use them all the time. It was quite by accident that I came across the Mothercare Smart Nappy starter pack, as I was just idly browsing around Mothercare with no intention of buying anything. I happened on the Smart Nappy starter pack and was delighted to see that it was on sale. The only pack that looked like the right fit for my son had one of the outer nappies missing. I asked the assistance if they had any other packs, which they didn't, so they reduced the pack with the missing nappy even further, making it a steal.
I was a little hesitant at first, as I was unsure if they would be a comfortable fit, and wondered how I would get along with them. After examining the contents of the bag I was confident that they would fit. I thought it wasn't much to lose if not, considering they were less than a quarter of their retail price. I was hopeful that they would fit, and wasted no time in washing them prior to use. Once washed, I worried about how difficult they would be to put together.
Thankfully reusable nappies have come a long way over the years and are quite practical. However, the downside is, disposables seem to dominate the market. Having a look at the instruction sheet that was provided in the bag I was pleased to see that there was only two parts to put together, and it seemed straight forward. The liner is to be folded and slipped into the nappy, and that is it! The nappy looks no different to a disposable, other than it is a soft material nappy that is plain white. It goes on in the same way as a disposable and fastens with Velcro tabs in the same manner as a disposable. That makes it incredibly simple to use and to adjust to.
The nappy seems a little bulkier, and when placed on my son I wondered how effective it would be, as the leg area doesn't have the ruffle that I am accustomed to with disposables, and it didn't seem to cover over as much as I would expect. Once on it actually looks more slim line and neater than expected. I hoped there would be no leaks. I was pleased with how neat it looked, and how quick and simple it was to place on my son. The nappy looks neat and tidy, and isn't as obvious as a normal nappy which generally protrudes above his trouser waist. It does feel different, and there isn't the same sagging once it becomes wet.
Once it comes to changing time, it is a simple wipe of the area and change of the liner, unless the outer cover has become messy. I have used these for quite some time and have never had any mess on the outer cover, so I only change this part periodically for washing. The liner is incredibly absorbent and keeps waste contained. For a soiled liner, I simply remove the waste and place the liner directly into the machine. I wash the nappies and liners together on a hot wash and they come up clean every time. The Velcro tabs are strong and have lost none of their power.
The nappies and liners fit neatly into the zipped bag provided, which is rather handy to store them in. I find that having three is enough with the four liners, as they are highly absorbent, and are quick to wash and dry. They are also effective for overnight use. I haven't used them whilst out, as I don't like the idea of having to carry them about with me once soiled. I suppose for younger children that are still in a pushchair this wouldn't be as much of a problem, as they could be placed in the basket.
Unfortunately my son isn't developmentally ready to be potty trained due to his Autism, so these have been a useful buy and have had much use. They are kinder to his skin, and are highly absorbent. I have had no leakages that tend to happen with disposables from time to time. The fit is perfect, and the nappy conforms to his body. The material is soft against his skin, and the nappy is tidier under his clothes, as it has no extra frilling around the top or legs. I am also happy to report that the difference in smell is no different.
This is a great starter pack that provides a sufficient amount of nappies and liners to get through the day. Reusable liners can be used if desired, however, I feel this defeats the object. The reusable liners stay soft and haven't lost any of their absorbency over time. I have nothing but praise for this nappy set and have found that they have helped save money whilst saving on waste.
My little girl has been in cloth nappies for the past 3 months. When I decided to try cloth I purchased a number of different types to see which one best suited me and my little girl.
~ Cost and Availability ~
These are Mothercares own brand, therefore only available in Mothercare. I purchased the set of 4 nappy outers and 8 pads on sale, the full price was £40, but I got it for around £12, so works out quite cheap.
~ Style of nappy ~
This nappy comes as two parts, and outer nappy, which has an internal cradle which a pad slips into. The outer nappy is made of a plasticy waterproof material.
The pad is made up of three panels, in the middle there is a quilted polyester (which touches the baby's skin) and the sides are made of a fleece, which fold over underneath the quilted part. Once folded this tucks into the cradle part of the nappy outer.
This nappy system also comes with the option to purchase disposable pads, to put into the nappy outer. I don't really see the point in this, as if you want to use disposable pads, why don't you just use a disposable nappy.
These nappy's are sized, and come in 4 different sizes -
- premature/newborn (4 - 11 lbs) where you would used the newborn pad and outer
- Newborn/small baby (6-13lbs) where you would use the small outer and small/medium pad
- 1 - 9 months (12 - 20lbs) where you would use the medium pad and outer
- 9 - 24 months (20 - 30lbs) where you would use the large pad and outer.
The newborn pads also double up as a booster for larger baby's. I started my baby on these nappy's when she was around 8 weeks so went straight into the Medium size.
These nappies use the soft touch Velcro to fit, with a long line of Velcro right across the front of the nappy outer which means you can get a really good fit. The Velcro tabs also have a bit to fold down onto, to avoid the Velcro attaching to other items in the wash.
The nappies are designed to be able to just change the pad, and only have to change the outer nappy every few wet changes, or when baby does a poop. So you should need fewer outer nappies than pads. However, I do find I have to change the outer nappy every change as my little girl poops quite often.
~ My Experience ~
To start with I really liked these nappies. As they are sized, it means that they are relatively slim fitting (compared to my Naughty Baby which I have previously reviewed).
They only come in white, so they will not clash with any of baby's clothes, however, do look a bit clinical and not as cute as some of the coloured nappy's you can get.
The internal cradle sits quite close to my little girls bum so is quite good at containing runny breastfed poop.
However, I have found a few issues with these nappies:
Firstly, these nappies are designed to use the paper liners with and are not really effective at absorbing runny baby poop into the pad. I don't like using paper liners as I find they stick to my baby's bum and smears the poop all up the front, not keeping her bum dry.
Secondly, the cradle which touches the baby's bum is made out of a plasticy material on the inside and has a overlocked edging made of a cotton material (may be polyester) to attempt to be soft against the babys skin, however, I find that the overlocked part turns inside out in places when the pad is put into the pocket, leaving the rubbery surface of the cradle and rough stitching to touch the baby's skin. This has left red marks and once a blister on my baby's bum, until I worked out what was causing this.
I stopped using these nappies for a while until I purchased some Little Lamb fleece liners. To avoid the above issues I place a fleece liner over the pocket (not tucked in) so only the fleece liner is touching my baby's bum. These liners help with the absorption of the baby poop as well.
~ Washing ~
As I have a few different type of nappies I just stick them all in the same wash at 60C. These nappies wash pretty well, and they look like they will last quite a while as they are pretty well made.
The instructions does say to soak the nappies, but I have never done this, it may help keeping the pads crystal white, as they have started to grey.
The outer of the nappy washes very easily and does not need tumble drying, but I put the pad in the tumble dryer for a while on low. They do take longer to dry than my other nappy's fleece pads, but not as long as my bamboo ones.
Remember, as with all washable nappies, to pre-wash when you purchase to boost the absorbency and not to use fabric softeners when washing as this affects the absorbency.
~ Conclusion ~
I have mixed feelings about these nappies, but I am very glad I didn't pay full price for them, as I do not think a set of 4 nappies & 8 pads are worth the £40 price tag.
With the fleece liners they are usable, however, are still at the bottom of my nappy pile.